Where to Get Your Car Appraised
If you are trading in or selling your car, it is a good idea to first get an appraisal in order to know how much your car is worth. There are many different options for where to get your car appraised. If you are having trouble deciding where to go, here is a quick look at your options.
One of the easiest places to go for a car appraisal is at an auto dealership. Often, an appraisal will take place while you are there to purchase another vehicle as part of a trade-in deal. The entire appraisal process generally takes around thirty minutes while you wait at the dealership.
The important thing to remember when having your car appraised at a dealership is to not let the dealer devalue your trade-in. This could include acting as if any small dent or minor imperfection in your car is a serious factor in the total value, which allows them to offer less for your trade-in. Simply be firm but reasonable about how much you think you should get for the trade-in and allow the dealer to finish their appraisal as quickly as possible.
If you are honest about the condition of your car, you can fill out your own appraisal forms online at sites like or Kelley Blue Book. Getting an appraisal this way is a quick and easy option, but they’re not exactly official. Many institutions would still want to have their own appraisers take a look at your car because car owners will often over-estimate the condition of their car. However, using an online source like this is a good way to get a general idea about the value of your car.
Besides dealerships, there are also other businesses that specialize in giving detailed appraisals of vehicles. Because most professional appraisers charge hourly rates (usually in the case of insurance claims or legal disputes) or additional travel fees if the car is not brought to their location, you can expect to pay somewhere between $100 and $500 for a professional appraisal. In some cases, the price may be even higher than this.
The benefit of a professional appraisal is the depth of the appraisal. A professional appraisal will include a written description of the vehicle quality along with a list of the appraiser’s qualifications. Because of this, appraisals from professional sources will be accepted as valid in most situations.
Which is the best?
The easiest way to get an appraisal is to use an online appraisal tool. However, in order to make sure you get the best (and most accurate) value for your car, a professional appraisal is your best option. Even though you will have to pay for a professional appraisal, it will be the most accurate representation of the true value of your car. A dealership appraisal may seem the most cost efficient, but dealers will often be looking for ways of devaluing your car so that they can offer a lower trade-in value.